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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm getting a garage soon (new apartment in may) and I'm pondering what to do to my bike first :) I'd like to fix up the suspension a bit. I'm willing to spend some money on this but nothing outrageous; a few hundred-ish. I do about half city riding and half canyon carving on my 02 SVS. Emphasis on the canyon carving suspension wise; I don't mind an unnecessarily sporty ride in town. But I don't need ultra-mega-race-performance stuff.

What are the things I should look at doing? fork oil? oil + springs? new rear shock? which one? What will these mods cost?

I don't have much experience wrenching, but I learn quick and have a brother who'd love to help, so I'm not too worried about doing it as long as it doesn't require really expensive tools.

Advice?

Thanks in advance
 

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Correct springs for your weight and thicker oil for the front definitely, that's about $100. Cartridge emulators if you've got $150 more burning a hole in your pocket, might as well get it all done while you have the forks off.

The 636 shock is supposedly the best *really* cheap upgrade for the first gen if you're of average weight. $50-$100 generally on eBay. A shock set up specifically for the SV will probably run you at least $400--Progressive, Hagon, revalved/sprung GSX-R shock.

Those are the cheaper suspension tweaks. Then there are the really trick shocks like Penske, and the GSX-R front ends.
 

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Do the springs and oil First,you might not need the rest, want it,yes..need it maybe :lol:
 

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You can easily do the fork springs/oil and a 636 shock for under $200.
Bang for the buck doesn't get much better than that. :wink:
 

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1) Correct springs and oil weight for rider weight/riding style
2) Emulators
3) OEM Shock swap from other late-model bike (specific shock depends upon rider weight and intended usage; I have a 636 shock that suits my weight and riding just fine; ZX-10, Hayabusa, GSXR shocks, etc. of varying vintages are all heavily documented on this board)

that order for most noticeable change to bike's performance, all done for around $200-$300 if you shop around.
 

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txsv.com might have some local austin people willing to help u install if u dont already post there.

other than that i did fork oil and rear shock with help from 1-2 people.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies. I'm about 130 lbs, so which shock is best for little guys? And what spring weight <edit> and fork oil weight </edit> would I want in front?

What do the emulators do?

Thanks again!
 

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Beating the dead horse again I'm sure, but I gotta throw this out there at least once every couple of months..... ;) Going from a bad suspension to a poor suspension is not my idea of "bang-for-the-buck". If someone has the opportunity to ride a properly set-up SV suspension, I believe their opinion would be different of how "good" the recommendations often made here really are. It's not that you can't "get by" with this stuff, and enjoy riding immensely, but I think if you knew how much more performance you could get with a more significant upgrade, you may change your mind on whether you spend the $200 on a carbon fiber hugger or on a better suspension. It may be a case of "you don't know what you don't know".... Has anyone besides me gone through progressive upgrades from the bad stock stuff all the way up to a top-quality race setup? Do you share my sentiment on this, or am I just off my rocker?

HINT: The guys who ride 636's are taking those shocks off of their bikes and selling them on eBay so that they can get something better..... ;)

DISCLAIMER: Yes, if you ONLY have $50 to spend on a shock, then by all means it's certainly "better" than stock. But if you are spending more money on other parts of the bike...... then you have a choice! ;)
 

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jarelj said:
Beating the dead horse again I'm sure, but I gotta throw this out there at least once every couple of months..... ;) Going from a bad suspension to a poor suspension is not my idea of "bang-for-the-buck". If someone has the opportunity to ride a properly set-up SV suspension, I believe their opinion would be different of how "good" the recommendations often made here really are. It's not that you can't "get by" with this stuff, and enjoy riding immensely, but I think if you knew how much more performance you could get with a more significant upgrade, you may change your mind on whether you spend the $200 on a carbon fiber hugger or on a better suspension. It may be a case of "you don't know what you don't know".... Has anyone besides me gone through progressive upgrades from the bad stock stuff all the way up to a top-quality race setup? Do you share my sentiment on this, or am I just off my rocker?
:idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea:
:clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:

honestly, once I rode a properly setup and dialed in bike- it's REALLY hard to not want that compliancy, suppleness, feedback, on all your rides =)

I'm probably going to get flamed for this, but I think this swapping of parts is also due to the nature of the SV being a "budget" bike, as well as ownership demographic- a large portion of which are beginning/new riders who don't really know any better.

Everyone rides for a different reason. Some people spend their money on huggers, lowers, undertails, custom paint, etc. I spend mine on suspension.
 

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As a Former Penske Two-way owner and a future GSXR SVRACESHOP rebuilt shock owner, I fully support Jarelj @ SV_kage. Ya don't know what u are missing. If you don't think it's worth it, just post up on the board and ask for a test ride and swap bikes. If you can't tell a different due to your riding style then that's fine, but if you do ride aggressively it should be night and day.

With the ZX636 swap and the others....1) U are getting a shock that is not the right length most of the time, it's off here and there. 2) If you happen to get something close to the correct shock length the Spring rate is not correct for you. 3) if you happen to guess and get a shock with the right length and spring rate, then you don't have the proper valving inside the shock for rebound and compression dampening. Kawasaki did not design their shock with the SV in mind, they are two totally different bikes. Just because it fits, it doesn't mean it meets the the three criteria I mentioned above.
 
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jarelj said:
Beating the dead horse again I'm sure, but I gotta throw this out there at least once every couple of months..... ;) Going from a bad suspension to a poor suspension is not my idea of "bang-for-the-buck". If someone has the opportunity to ride a properly set-up SV suspension, I believe their opinion would be different of how "good" the recommendations often made here really are. It's not that you can't "get by" with this stuff, and enjoy riding immensely, but I think if you knew how much more performance you could get with a more significant upgrade, you may change your mind on whether you spend the $200 on a carbon fiber hugger or on a better suspension. It may be a case of "you don't know what you don't know".... Has anyone besides me gone through progressive upgrades from the bad stock stuff all the way up to a top-quality race setup? Do you share my sentiment on this, or am I just off my rocker?

HINT: The guys who ride 636's are taking those shocks off of their bikes and selling them on eBay so that they can get something better..... ;)

DISCLAIMER: Yes, if you ONLY have $50 to spend on a shock, then by all means it's certainly "better" than stock. But if you are spending more money on other parts of the bike...... then you have a choice! ;)
You make a good point. But, alas, I am a poor college student and can only afford so much. Any money I spend on the bike is for something functional. I'm considering a topcase. But no hugger or fender eliminator for me -- hell the fairing is scraped up and I'd rather fix my suspension than fix the fairing.

It's an honest question -- should I spend $200 now on my suspension, or should I keep my $200 in the bank until I can afford a really top notch suspension? I can't answer that one myself, which is why I'm here.
 

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I'd think if the suspension is really giving you fits now, go for the cheaper suspension mods and you can probably sell the shock for what u paid for it as long in good condition and not too many miles a year or two from now when u upgrade. Just take into account the modifications to your bike some of these shocks require...they may not be reversible. :shock:
 

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ghezbora said:
You make a good point. But, alas, I am a poor college student and can only afford so much. Any money I spend on the bike is for something functional. I'm considering a topcase. But no hugger or fender eliminator for me -- hell the fairing is scraped up and I'd rather fix my suspension than fix the fairing.

It's an honest question -- should I spend $200 now on my suspension, or should I keep my $200 in the bank until I can afford a really top notch suspension? I can't answer that one myself, which is why I'm here.
Sure, I hear ya, I was once a poor college student myself..... If it's all you can afford, then there's not much of a debate to be had. At the bare minimum you need 15-20w oil and the correct springs for your weight. The stock forks dive dangerously under hard braking. The damping will still be shit, but at least it won't dive so bad. The rear shock might as well be a piece of solid steel, it's a stretch to call it a "damper" of any kind. The Gixxers and 636's come with a better stock shock, and it's better than not doing anything. But if you think your budget might be $400 in a month or two, you might think about planning to re-sell whatever cheap shock upgrade you do and get something better. The springs you'll keep forever (unless you upgrade to a cartridge front end, and then you could still sell the springs). The oil is cheap, so no biggie. If you can snag a used pair of emulators in the near future, you'd be wise to do it.
 

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I agree with the POV that the cheap (636, ZX-10) shock upgrade is not the best, but hell, for 50-75 bucks it's quite an improvement over stock.
I'm not a racer but I did 4 trackdays on the stock suspension last year which sucked and I can tell just from street riding, that the springs/oil and 636 setup are a significant improvement. Definitely not the ideal setup, but a big improvement for the money. I can see spending the money down the road, to get a better shock, but some of us like to take baby steps I guess. :wink:
 

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If I buy even a double-adjustable penske instead of the 636 shock, I'm not going to have $725 more fun on my bike than I do now. If I spend $725 on a half-dozen trackdays, I will have at least $725 more fun and I'll get to skip work to do at least a couple of those trackdays, leading to more than $725 worth of fun even though I'm out a couple of days of vacation time.

Besides, 3rd place at a track day doesn't pay any better than 33rd place.
 

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My Custom rebuilt, anodized, lengthended, gold-valved GSXR shock cost me $425 and rivals the Penske...*shrugs*

Too each his own, but with $725 bucks (U can get a Penske Two-way for $660 actually at Lindemann) that's ~5 trackdays here in the NE. If anything I'd be $725-worth more pissed that I was trying to do 5 trackdays on a POS suspension that would be the limiting factor instead of myself. I'll never own a bike that is the limiting factor to my riding.

Bryce
 

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Bster13 said:
I'll never own a bike that is the limiting factor to my riding.
Witness Valentino Rossi last year on the Yam M1. Widely regarded as an inferior bike to the Honda RC's. Down on straight line speed from the Desmosedici. Yet Valentino handily wins MotoGP title. On a bike that was the "limiting factor" to riders before him.

Until I can drop a Valentino Rossi on my bike, 636 shock and all, and he doesn't turn faster laps than I do, the bike won't be the limiting factor in my riding.
 

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Bster13 said:
Of course you can go to extremes, by your account you'll have a stock bike for eternity!
I don't have to go to extremes -- I am fully aware of the fact that there are a ton of people who could ride my very own bike faster than I do. One is two floors down from me in my office building right now (course, he dumped his '03 600RR on cold race tires two weekends ago, so I guess it is a toss up there). In my opinion, that's not going to extremes. And I don't ride anything close to a stock bike (though I am just about the only guy I see at the track with a stock mudflap/speed brake hanging from the back of my bike).

I also see a number of people at the track with spanky-brand new bikes who can't ride them within 50% of their capability. It's more fun for me, a slow guy on a slow SV to get good drive on a guy on an R1 and smoke him as I come out onto the front straight at most tracks I ride at. Even better is passing the liter guys at the end of a long straight when they've been braking for 75 feet, and I haven't even started to slow yet.

If a shock slows me down a couple 'a seconds, so be it. If I ever start racing, you're damn right I'll want every advantage over that guy gridded next to me.

And don't get me wrong -- I'm pretty damn envious of jarelj's bike (and other LW Superbike SV's). I have enough trouble wrangling a dozen trackdays from the wife for a summer. I have to trade for an equal number of equally expensive spa days for her.
 
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